Sunday, July 29, 2007

Two finished monkeys . . .

sitting on the bed!Well, on a towel that's on the bed, anyway. :)

Specs: Cookie A's brilliant Monkey Pattern, size 2 needles, Lorna's Laces in "Icehouse."

for my Sockapalooza Pal. They're almost dry--they should be ready to pack up tomorrow!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Christmas in July

My mom has a thing for Santas. (No, not that kind of a thing. A collecting kind of a thing.)

She must have 300 of them, and every year at Christmas, they come out. And every January, they get wrapped back up and put away until the following year.

At least, that was the routine until G and I took our first trip to Russia 6 years ago, when we came back with a carved St. Nicholas statue--maybe 6 inches high. It stayed on the mantel year-round.

Since then, we've been back to Russia once (and brought back 2 more St. Nicks), and G found one in Poland. So she had 3 tall-ish (10 inches, maybe?) and 1 shorter statue. They reside in a place of honor on the mantel, all year round.

But she kept telling me that they didn't balance--3 tall and 1 short, there was no way to arrange them on the mantel.

When a friend of ours went to Russia last month, you can guess what we asked her to bring back:

Two more St. Nicholas statues--one tall, one short.

I was going to wait, and give them to her in December, but I couldn't wait.

She was absolutely delighted--and now the mantel balances perfectly.

I am, however, waiting to hear her next reason for why we should go to Russian and buy more St. Nicks. :)

Friday, July 13, 2007

A journey of a thousand rows . . .

Begins with a single stitch.

Three evenings of work on the border for the Stripes and Torchon shawl, from Victorian Lace Today. The pattern is pretty--I do like this border--but it's full of SK2P and double yarn-overs, and it's 34 rows long, so I've got no shot at memorizing it. Three repeats down, and who knows how many (30+, I think) more to go.

Fortunately, it's a Christmas present (I know. I'm pretty astonished myself, that I could be working on a Christmas present in July. Of course, at the rate I'm going, I'll still be working on it in December, if I'm not careful!). So there's time.

And a shot of my orchid, which has been blooming continuously since I got it at the end of last August.

For some people, that may not be a huge accomplishment, but I can actually kill mint. And bamboo--I've done it. So the fact that my orchid is not only still alive, but actually thriving? Blows me away.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Thursday, July 5, 2007

On the kindness of strangers

One of the most amazing things about Ravelry is the way that it connects people. If I have a question about knitting, I can ask it there, and get an answer within minutes.

Casey and Jess have been generous with their idea, opening it as quickly as possible to as many people as they can. They are (or at least it seems this way) always online, making comments, offering suggestions, answering questions, cracking jokes. Their presence helps make Ravelry feel like a small, friendly community, even though it's made up of people from all around the world.

Ravelers have been generous with their time, editing patterns and yarns, answering knitting questions, offering advice.

The generosity of complete strangers--some of whom have become my friends inside the computer very quickly--is a wonderful thing to witness.

To wit:

Posh Yarns Beatrice in Claret (in real life, much closer to a nice claret wine color than the photo shows).
Posh Yarns Sophia in Pink
And Posh Yarns Cecelia in Lagoon.

All sent to me a Raveler who, having read my enthusiastic endorsement of all things Posh Yarns on one of the forums, thought that I would enjoy them. She didn't want money, or sock yarn, or even postage--just to send the yarn, which she had decided she would never use, to a good home.

All I can say is "Wow." and many, many thanks.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Knitting Into the Mystery . . .

White Misti Alpaca laceweight, size 3 needles, and clear size 8/0 beads with silver lining from Beadworks.
I'm on row 75 of clue #1. Since the pattern repeats aren't really repeats at all, and are getting longer, I've decided to be smart about it and use lifelines.

I think that the shawl will wind up being a hexagon--once the shawl gets to 99 stitches, it seems to be knit straight up, rather than on a bias. But I guess we'll have to wait until next Friday for clue #2 to find out!